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Sep 23 2016
by Daphine Henderson

American College Students Get an ‘F’ in Global Literacy

By Daphine Henderson - Sep 23 2016

How confident are you in your knowledge about world events and geography?

National Geographic and the Council on Foreign Relations asked college-aged students to answer questions about topics like geography and immigration. The results were varied greatly.

Out of the 75 questions that National Geographic and the Council on Foreign Relations gave to approximately 1,200 students in the U.S., only 55 percent were answered correctly.

A 55 percent is considered a failing grade.

The report states that international awareness is ranked by students as highly important, but the answers make us find that a little hard to believe.

The report reads:

“The good news is that the survey also reflects an opportunity. As already noted, young people recognize the importance of international knowledge.They seek information about national and international issues from a wide range of online and other platforms.”

Here are some of the questions asked, and how the students responded:

1. Have more Mexicans left the United States than entered over the past five years?

Correct answer: Yes.

However, only 34 percent of students got the correct answer. 49 percent said no, while 17 percent didn’t know at all.

2. What are the countries with the highest population of Muslim citizens?

Correct answer: South Africa, India, Armenia, and Indonesia. 

Only six percent of students even mentioned South Africa.

3. Which branch of U.S. government has the constitutional authority to declare war?

Correct answer: The legislative branch. 

Only 30 percent of students got the correct answer. 48 percent responded with the executive branch as their answer.

Want to test your skills in global literacy? The survey is here if you want to see how well you’d do on the other questions. 

This just makes it even more obvious that we need to be aware of the world around us.

Lead Image Credit: Pexels

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Daphine Henderson - University of Maryland, College Park

Daphine Henderson is a sophomore at the University of Maryland College Park majoring in Music Performance on Bass. She enjoys reading, writing, and anything involved with music and art. Follow her on Twitter @Guinea231 !

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